Small tea growers, contributing near half of the national yield, are going to have insurance coverage against loss incurred due to adverse weather conditions, protection which they have been demanding for more than a decade.

Following introduction in a few pilot districts, the insurance scheme will be implemented countrywide in a phased manner, reported The Economic Times.

The Indian Tea Board (ITB) recently held a meeting with insurance companies, including Agriculture Insurance Company of India, and other stakeholders like small tea growers, to plan the modalities of the scheme.

“We expect the final policy rollout to take place by the next fiscal year. Highly dependent on the whims of weather, tea demands effective weather-based insurance like coffee or rubber. We have been demanding this for more than a decade ,” said B G Chakraborty, President of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Associations who was present at the meeting.

The scheme involves preparing a standard weather mapping or ‘term sheet’ with the help of the Indian Meteorological Department. In case of any claim of loss due to natural calamity, the deviation of actual weather condition from the term sheet will be the basis of claim settlement.

Following the finalisation of policy design by the ITB, insurance companies will be asked to set premium rates and submit their Expression of Interest. The beneficiary will pay 25% of the premium while central and state governments will bear 50% and 25% respectively.

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